Auburn High Student Selected for U.S. Senate Youth Program

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412
RAGAN

Will Participate in Online Program and
Receive $10,000 Scholarship

Contributed to by the U.S. Senate Youth Porgram

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announced that high school students Maren Lee Fagan and Clara Rose Ragan will join Sen. Richard C. Shelby and Sen. Tommy Tuberville in representing Alabama during the 60th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 6 through 9, 2022.

Fagan of Daphne and Ragan of Auburn were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will each also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2022 program will be held online, through a comprehensive and highly interactive virtual education and leadership forum. The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception.

Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the Senate leadership of the day, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.”

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program provides the most outstanding high school students — two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity — with an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it.

The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. All expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

Fagan, a junior at Daphne High School, serves as editor in chief of the journalism program. As editor in chief, she manages her high school yearbook, The Palladium, and the online student newspaper, The Oracle. Additionally, she is the president of the Daphne Chapter of Quill and Scroll International Journalism Honor Society. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society and the Math Honor Society. Maren plans to attend a top-level university in the District of Columbia. Upon graduation from college, she plans to attend law school, with the ultimate goal to work as a civil and human rights lawyer.

Ragan, a senior at Auburn High School, serves as president of the Diversity Council. Additionally, she serves as a Student Council representative, the Science Olympiad team captain and marching band section leader. She secured internship positions with the Lee County District Attorney’s Office and with the Alabama Circuit Court, and plans to attend Vanderbilt University as a political science and business major. Upon graduation from college, she hopes to attend law school. Ragan’s ultimate goal is to join the government as a judge or Congressional representative.

Chosen as alternates to the 2022 program were Aubteen Pour-Biazar, a resident of Madison, who attends Bob Jones High School and Joe Don Anderson, a resident of Muscle Shoals, who attends Muscle Shoals High School. Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection.

This year’s Alabama delegates and alternates were designated by Eric G. Mackey, state superintendent of Education. During the program week, the student delegates will attend online meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, among others.

 In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top 1% of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 6,000 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service.

Among the many distinguished alumni are: Sen. Susan Collins, the first alumnus to be elected U.S. senator; Secretary of Transportation and former Mayor of South Bend Indiana, Pete Buttigieg; former Sen. Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the first alumnus to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove.

Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, Provost of Wake Forest University Rogan Kersh, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and other university educators. Members of the U.S. Senate Youth Program 2022 annual Senate Advisory Committee are: Sen. Christopher A. Coons of Delaware, Democratic Co-Chair; Sen. Susan M. Collins of Maine, Republican Co-Chair; Advisory Members: Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM); Sen. Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-OR); Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN); Sen. Mark R. Warner (DVA); Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN); Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV); Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK); and Sen. M. Michael Rounds (R-SD). Each year, the honorary co-chairs of the program are the vice president of the United States and the Senate majority and minority leaders. For more information, please visit: www.ussenateyouth.org

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